The internet and other digital technologies offer many educational and social benefits for ākonga. However, it is important to be aware of the risks. We recommend that you make sure your ākonga knows how to be safe online and check in from time to time to see what they are doing online.
Talking about internet safety
We encourage you to talk to your ākonga about the safe use of the internet on a regular basis. Being aware of the risks enables them to make safer decisions when they are using digital channels.
Being a responsible cybercitizen means:
- protecting your personal information online
- behaving responsibly towards others online
- managing potentially risky situations
- being able to judge the credibility of material found on the internet.
Social networking sites
Many young people connect with their friends through social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Tik Tok. Social networking sites are free and young people can easily create their own profiles.
Risks can include:
- bullying and harassment using text and photos
- using sites to express serious concerns like suicide instead of seeking proper professional help when needed
- access to anti-social networks (hate groups, pro-anorexia or networks of drug users), which can introduce children to inappropriate attitudes, beliefs and behaviours
- the use of personal or family information by burglars and other criminals
- illegal sharing of downloaded videos and music.
Blocking selected websites
Learning online gives your ākonga access to a huge amount of information and resources that will help them with their studies, but we appreciate that it can sometimes be hard to keep them focused on schoolwork while they’re online.
There are free tools available to block distracting websites for any length of time you specify.
For more information on talking with your ākonga about online risks, contact your kaimanaaki or kaiako.
An excellent cybersafety website is:
- Netsafe – suitable for all ages. You can also contact the NetSafe contact centre on 0508 638 723 for further information.